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Surge in Kuwait COVID-19 cases big challenge: Municipality chief

KUWAIT: Director General of Kuwait Municipality Ahmad Al-Manfouhi speaks to reporters after a tour at Murooj Complex in Sabhan yesterday. – KUNA

KUWAIT: Director General of Kuwait Municipality Ahmad Al-Manfouhi said yesterday that the surge in coronavirus cases “has placed us before a big challenge” to heed health conditions. He made his remarks to reporters after a tour at Murooj Complex in Sabhan to see first-hand compliance of restaurants and coffee shops with health regulations.

Government institutions stepped up their readiness after health authorities raised the alarm about rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, he said. Manfouhi said he was pleased to witness business owners’ commitment to health conditions which exceeded 95 percent. This compliance, he added, would help owners avoid any penalties. He warned anew against any slackness in compliance with the health conditions “because it would endanger lives of people.”

The Ministry of Health yesterday announced 798 new COVID-19 cases registered over a 24-hour span, increasing the total number of infections to 177,701, while five fatalities were recorded during the same period, raising the death toll to 1,003. Plus, active cases amounted to 10,679 with 133 of them in intensive care units as of yesterday, MoH’s Spokesman Dr Abdullah Al-Sanad said.

Health authorities conducted 7,514 swab tests to a total of 1,667,920, which meant that 10.6 percent of the swab tests performed in 24 hours were infections, he revealed. Earlier, the ministry confirmed 765 fresh recovery cases, added to a total of 166,019 cured people so far. Dr Sanad urged the public to adhere to precautionary measures against the virus and maintain social distancing.

The Cabinet had decided earlier this month to shut down all commercial shops, restaurants and malls from 8:00 pm to 5:00 am the next day as of February 7, as a new measure to help curb the spread of COVID-19 after a notable increase in the number of new cases. Grocery shops and pharmacies were exempted, while delivery business were allowed to continue.

It also closed down health clubs, salons, barber shops and resorts, in addition to celebration halls, tents and catering services. It also banned all gatherings including national holiday celebrations. The ban will continue for one month which can be renewed if necessary.

The Cabinet also banned the entry of foreigners into the country from February 7 for two week that can be renewed. It exempted close relatives of citizens and domestic helpers. Furthermore, the Cabinet re-introduced institutional quarantines saying that those returning will have to be quarantined at local hotels for seven days and then at home for another seven days. The decision will be implemented from February 21 for one month that can be extended.


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